Gaius Publius: A Non-Neoliberal Woman President Is Not One of the Choices

Yves here. Of all the lame justifications for voting for Hillary Clinton, the one that galls me the most is the gender card.

Hillary is dishonest, to a degree that is distinctive in our corruption-ridden era. It was evident to me as soon as I read her claim to have parlayed $1000 into $100,000 in commodities trades. Anyone who has traded commodities as a pro will tell you how impossible her results as a complete newbie were. And if you still harbor doubts, I know a trader who was asked by three Congressmen to look at her trading records. Every trade was done at the best price of the day. The Congressmen told him that they’d show her records to other experts. All had agreed that her remarkable profits could not have been the result of bona fide trading activity.

Hillary has ridden on Bill’s coattails. She may have been a very accomplished student at Yale Law School. However, it is just about certain her practice at the Rose Law Firm depended heavily on her access to the Arkansas state government. She botched her health care reform initiative, did nothing of note as Senator from New York, and as Secretary of State made the mess in the Middle East even worse (just review the record in Libya and Syria). Yet feminists are calling on women to rally behind a record of cronyism and incompetence.

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. Originally published at at Down With Tyranny. GP article archive here.

“I owe almost my entire Wall Street career to the Clintons” (he does mean both).
—Wall Street trader Chris Arnade

I recently read Joan Walsh’s passionate endorsement of Hillary Clinton, and while she speaks for herself, it’s obvious that many people feel as she does. It’s long past time for a woman to be nominated and long past time for the vicious, sexist and puerile attacks on her to cease. Hillary Clinton has been subjected to the kind of public abuse that I think only women who deal with the Internet fully appreciate. The cruelty of the insults many women are forced to endure is both frightening and dangerous. I truly believe you can’t appreciate that kind of relentless abuse until you’ve personally felt it.

That said, if you are truly a progressive in your views and policy preferences, is Hillary Clinton the right woman to take the mantle of “first woman president”? Should the historically important first woman president, for example, be the one with last clear chance to end the grip of carbon before the planet burns, drowns, freezes and fries — yet also be the one to lead us into that black hole anyway?

Would any woman want that legacy for the “first woman president” — that she becomes the destroyer who threw away the final chance to save civilized life? We are beyond irony, if that proves true. (I’ll write more in future, as I have in the past, on Clinton and carbon, though there’s a small taste of what I’m talking about below. Look for the word “frackers.”)

In the same way, I didn’t want the first black president to be the one who proactively enabled slave-trading in Malaysia so the world’s hyper-wealthy — including those on whom he will surely depend for a “Bill Clinton future,” should he want one — can scoop yet more of the wealth of the world into their already bulging pockets? Aren’t they rich enough already? Not in their eyes, nor in Obama’s, apparently. This is also beyond irony, if you consider the suffering of Malaysian slaves. These people are worked to death and die in filth. Again, first black president.

If This Were a “Clean Election”…

Put simply, if this were a “clean election” (the analogy is to a “clean bill” in Congress, one that does one thing cleanly) … if this were an all-things-equal-but-the-gender election … if, for example, Elizabeth Warren were the candidate running against her … there would be no fight but a policy fight in the Democratic Party. The nomination would belong to the winner based on how she would govern. You would still see the policy fight in the Party, but the gender discussion wouldn’t confuse it.

But this is not a “clean election.” This is an election between a potential “first woman president” — who is indeed treated very badly as a person in many quarters, but who is also, to all appearances, “money to the core” — and a male who is her opposite when it comes to wealth and income policy. When it comes to economics, electing a progressive woman is not one of the choices.

Just one example of the policy differences between Sanders and Clinton. Sanders would break up the big banks and starve the “shadow banking” nexus with Warren’s 21st Century Glass-Steagall bill (yes, it does address shadow banking). In contrast, Clinton would keep the big banks whole, regulate “shadow banks” a bit more closely than before, and tell Wall Street to “cut it out” when big money crosses the line.

Sanders would put bankers in jail if they commit fraud. Would Clinton? (Has Obama?) Clinton hasn’t spoken on this, but “cut it out” doesn’t sound like orange jumpsuit language to me.

If you’re a Democrat (or a non-tribal progressive) and gender is your issue, then Clinton makes an interesting choice in the primary — so long as you’re willing to accept her neoliberal, generally pro-wealth policies. (In that regard, I would love every Clinton-leaning voter to ask herself if she would still support Clinton if Warren were running against her. After all, some people are supporting Clinton because of her neoliberalism, her “establishment centrism” and credibility, not in spite of it.)

But if you’re a Democrat (or a non-tribal progressive) and money is your issue, the thought of electing the next wealth-friendly neoliberal president — of either gender — certainly makes you shudder. Does that mean you shouldn’t support her in the general election? No, it means you should make that choice then. This is not then — this is now.

Which Candidate, If Elected, Is Most Likely to be Tough on “Big Money”?

Let’s look at a few pieces that drive the above point painfully home (painful to me at least, though likely painful for any Warren supporter as well, for the obvious reason). To that end, I’d like to look at three, two recent ones and something from a few months ago. I won’t offer long quotes for the last two pieces, but ask you to click through instead. The first, however, I’d like to present in detail.

◾ “I worked on Wall Street. I am skeptical Hillary Clinton will rein it in”

From a recent Guardian article, this from long-time Wall Street trader Chris Arnade. This is worth reading in full. He starts:

I owe almost my entire Wall Street career to the Clintons. I am not alone; most bankers owe their careers, and their wealth, to them. Over the last 25 years they – with the Clintons it is never just Bill or Hillary – implemented policies that placed Wall Street at the center of the Democratic economic agenda, turning it from a party against Wall Street to a party of Wall Street.

That is why when I recently went to see Hillary Clinton campaign for president and speak about reforming Wall Street I was skeptical. What I heard hasn’t changed that skepticism. The policies she offers are mid-course corrections. In the Clintons’ world, Wall Street stays at the center, economically and politically. Given Wall Street’s power and influence, that is a dangerous place to leave them.

Now some of his story:

Salomon Brothers hired me in 1993, seven months after President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Getting a job had been easy, Wall Street was booming from deregulation that had begun under Reagan and was continuing under Clinton.

When Bill Clinton ran for office, he offered up him and Hillary (“Two for the price of one”) as New Democrats, embracing an image of being tough on crime, but not on business. Despite the campaign rhetoric, nobody on the trading floor I joined had voted for the Clintons or trusted them.

Few traders on the floor were even Democrats, who as long as anyone could remember were Wall Street’s natural enemy. That view was summarized in the words of my boss: “Republicans let you make money and let you keep it. Democrats don’t let you make money, but if you do, they take it.”

Despite Wall Street’s reticence, key appointments were swinging their way. Robert Rubin, who had been CEO of Goldman Sachs, was appointed to a senior White House job as director of the National Economic Council. The Treasury Department was also being filled with banking friendly economists who saw the markets as a solution, not as a problem.

The administration’s economic policy took shape as trickle down, Democratic style. They championed free trade, pushing Nafta. They reformed welfare, buying into the conservative view that poverty was about dependency, not about situation. They threw the old left a few bones, repealing prior tax cuts on the rich, but used the increased revenues mostly on Wall Street’s favorite issue: cutting the debt.

But when Clinton bailed out Mexico to make Wall Street debt-holders whole, Wall Street knew that administration was theirs:

Most importantly, when faced with their first financial crisis, they [the Clinton administration] bailed out Wall Street.

That crisis came in January 1995, halfway through the administration’s first term. Mexico, after having boomed from the optimism surrounding Nafta, went bust. It was a huge embarrassment for the administration, given the push they had made for Nafta against a cynical Democratic party.

Money was fleeing Mexico, and much of it was coming back through me and my firm. Selling investors’ Mexican bonds was my first job on Wall Street, and now they were trying to sell them back to us. But we hadn’t just sold Mexican bonds to clients, instead we did it using new derivatives product to get around regulatory issues and take advantages of tax rules, and lend the clients money. Given how aggressive we were, and how profitable it was for us, older traders kept expecting to be stopped by regulators from the new administration, but that didn’t happen.

When Mexico started to collapse, the shudders began….

Those shudders were entirely unnecessary. The Clinton administration saved the banks by bailing out their debtors. They pushed for “a $50bn global bail-out of Mexico, arguing that to not do so would devastate the US and world economy. Unmentioned was that it would have also devastated Wall Street banks” (my emphasis). The success of that bailout became a template that’s with us today. It was “used it as an economic blueprint that emphasized Wall Street. It also emphasized bailouts”.

As a result, “Wall Street now had both political parties working for them, and really nobody holding them accountable. Now, no trade was too aggressive, no risk too crazy, no behavior to unethical and no loss too painful. It unleashed a boom that produced plenty of smaller crisis (Russia, Dotcom), before culminating in the housing and financial crisis of 2008.”

This was not just Bill and his actions. It was his administration. As Arnade notes above, when Bill Clinton ran for office he offered himself and Hillary as “Two for the price of one,” as “New Democrats, embracing an image of being tough on crime, but not on business.” Is Hillary still of this mind? She was in 2008. As a senator, according to Arnade, “Hillary Clinton voted to bail-out the banks, a vote she still defends.” A vote opposite to the vote of Bernie Sanders.

◾ Where’s Is Wall Street’s Money Going Today?

And now just one of the reasons the story told above is still the story today, and is still a Hillary Clinton story. The following graphic show data through October, 2015:

Campaign donations from individuals who work in the securities and investments industry (source; click to enlarge)

This is an awful lot of money for an individual to give to someone who’s going to jail them for fraud. Again, this and the previous bulleted piece don’t comprise two stories, an older one and a newer one. They are clearly one story, even without considering the recent money from Wall Street speeches.

◾ Clinton Goes to Pennsylvania to Reap Windfall from Pennsylvania Frackers

One more point, this time about the climate, one of the places we started this piece. Consider the following from Brad Johnson, something from the current fundraising cycle:

Last night, Hillary Clinton attended a gala fundraiser in Philadelphia at the headquarters of Franklin Square Capital Partners, a major investor in the fossil-fuel industry, particularly domestic fracking. The controversial fracking industry is particularly powerful in Pennsylvania, which will host the Democratic National Convention this July.

Clinton has avoided taking any clear stand on fracking. While she has embraced the Clean Power Plan, which assumes a strong increase in natural-gas power plants, she also supports a much deeper investment in solar electricity than the baseline plan. The pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record, run by David Brock, touts Clinton’s aggressive pro-fracking record.

Numerous grassroots groups have risen to oppose the toxic fracking of Pennsylvania and its labor abuses, including Marcellus Protest, No Fracking Way, Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, Keep Tap Water Safe, Stop Fracking Now, and Stop the Frack Attack.

As reported by the Intercept’s Lee Fang, “One of Franklin Square Capital’s investment funds, the FS Energy & Power Fund” the Intercept’s Lee Fang reports, “is heavily invested in fossil fuel companies, including offshore oil drilling and fracking.” The company cautions that “changes to laws and increased regulation or restrictions on the use of hydraulic fracturing may adversely impact” the fund’s performance.

Through its fund, Franklin Square invests in private fracking and oil drilling companies across the nation, as well as Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. This includes heavy investment in Pennsylvania frackers. …

There’s much more at the link — this is just a taste.

Will the first woman president be our “fracker in chief” and put the earth on a diet of methane, a deadly greenhouse gas, until it fries? I’m afraid, if the first woman president is Clinton, the answer will be yes. It breaks my heart that this is not a “clean election,” but it’s not, and it’s not one of our choices to make it one.

(Blue America has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. If you’d like to help out, go here; you can adjust the split any way you like at the link. If you’d like to “phone-bank for Bernie,” go here. You can volunteer in other ways by going here. And thanks!)

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  1. Mike Silva

    Every time a cognitive dissonance illogic wielding Hillary fangirl argues with me on Twitter, Bernie gets another donation!

    It’s like arguing with sputtering Republicans that don’t know what they are talking about, but these ones are sexist in a pro-female way, so that’s neat!

  2. kimsarah

    Wasn’t it Lloyd Blankfein who said he’d be happy with either Hillary or Jeb?
    As illustrated here, Wall Street has been happy with the “establishment” leadership of both parties, ever since the Clintons came to Washington — even though it is still fashionable to badmouth Democrats because they are supposedly tougher regulators and less pro free market capitalism.
    Thank goodness, more and more voters are realizing that their choices should not be based on party affiliation or gender, but who can best fix the damage done by the neoliberals of both parties and stop bowing to Wall Street. That is why Sanders and Trump have been rising in the polls. Now we’ll see if that momentum will translate into election results.

    1. Gaius Publius

      Yes, kimsarah.

      But the private consensus is similar to what Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said to POLITICO late last year when he praised both Christie — before the bridge scandal — and Clinton. “I very much was supportive of Hillary Clinton the last go-round,” he said. “I held fundraisers for her.”

      People close to Blankfein say the same calculus applies to a Jeb Bush-Hillary Clinton race as it would to a Christie-Clinton contest. “Those would be two very good choices and we’d be perfectly happy with them,” a person close to Blankfein said. Blankfein is a self-described Democrat, but his comments about Christie and Clinton reflect the ambidextrous political approach that many Republicans and Democrats on Wall Street take.

      Wall St. Republicans’ dark secret


  3. PlutoniumKun

    Everyone deep down is ‘tribal’ in the sense that they always find themselves attracted to politicians who in some sense are a reflection of who they are. So people always feel drawn for the ‘local guy’ above the better ‘outsider’, the person of similar ethnic background, similar accent, school, etc. Its a natural thing, and not altogether a bad thing. Its the same thing that makes communities work.

    I recently had an argument with a cousin who lives in a rural area. She said she was voting for a particular politician ‘because he looks after the locals’. This politician is known to be corrupt and a liar – he was described as such by two different judges. To the horror of outsiders, he keeps getting elected with big majorities because people like my cousin see him as ‘our guy’ and the more sophisticated urban types hate him, the more they like him. My comment to my cousin was ‘if you vote for him simply because he is ‘local’ and ignore his corruption and lies, then you lose all rights to complain about anything bad in this country, ever. Because you are the reason.’ Yeah, I was a bit mad (she just laughed).

    My point is that we need to call out people who vote for people like Clinton because she is a woman (or any other such superficial reason). Yes, it is emotionally understandable for a certain generation of women to see her as ‘one of us’. Entirely understandable. It is also entirely wrong. The educated woman who votes for Clinton ‘because’ is no different from the idiot Kansas rube who votes for tea-partier ‘because dem city types hate him’, just with less excuse, because education is supposed to matter. If someone votes Clinton because they agree on bombing the Middle East and bailing out Wall Street, and Fracking everywhere, well, thats fine – just say it. But playing the gender (or any other such card) is intellectually vapid and anyone who does it loses the right to complain about politicians anytime, anywhere, ever.

    1. James Levy

      My problem is the hypocritical way they talk about voting for a woman then turn around and lambaste a Palin or a Fiorina whom they would never vote for and hold in contempt. These people are not even for ‘the tribe”–they are exclusively for Rodham Clinton. This makes their appeal to the woman angle, in my opinion, odious and false. It’s “sisterhood is powerful” except I get to decide who the sisters are. And since they are selective about who is and is not worthy of being voted for as a woman, you see that deep down they really do endorse the miserable neoliberal agenda of Clinton, because they have so decisively declared her an “us” while Palin and Fiorina get to be a “them”. If policies matter, and it seems in their definition of us and them they do, then you’ve got to believe that they are OK with Clinton’s policies no matter how they may equivocate.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        David Brock and Sydney Blumenthal are prominent members of the Clinton campaign. How anyone can tolerate these pigs beyond outright crooks is just saddening. The Iowa Caucus might be fun. The sight of young women explaining Hillary has these examples of human filth as attack dogs to proud older women should be quite humorous.

        Of course, please try of Hillary supporters will be astonished when they hear about Hillary’s name to being connected to every fp disaster of the last 20 years. Her die hard supporters will get nasty.

      2. hidflect

        Hillary started nailing her own coffin lid down right from the start when she had some operative issue a missive informing the unwashed masses what terminology was deemed unacceptable and sexist. True or not, people don’t like to be told what to do. And what good did such instructions serve? Apart from warning misogynists to use alternate dog-whistles?

    2. Norb

      For a long time now, I have been having an ongoing conversation with various coworkers concerning the imperative to confront the corruption plaguing our society thru personal and political action. While all see the hardship caused by neoliberal policies, there still exists a mental barrier that cannot be broken thru. No rational argument seems to move them beyond their current stand. Many are stuck on lesser of two evils thinking and others are entrenched in one issue voting, regardless if their candidate repudiates most issues they profess to support. Another strong force is overcoming the underlying sense of economic fear. People are trying desperately to hold onto what they have and are easily persuaded by arguments that threaten what little stability they worked out for themselves. One thing I have learned is the power of propaganda- it is no small thing to move people once they have been conditioned to believe something.

      Another distressing characteristic is the underlying sense of powerlessness to bring about change. The agency question. TINA. When discussing political issues, invariably the angry response to questions of fighting corruption turns to- this is how its always been! It is a depressing circular argument. People are against corruption but vote to elect corrupt representatives, then fail to make any connection with their actions and the predictable outcome. At this point, moving from complaining to doing is the only plausible response.

      What to do? I agree that people must be called out on their wrong headed statements and actions. This is the effort that counteracts the massive propaganda spewing out from the MSM. Learning how to do this well is important. Bringing out common cause and solidarity is a learned skill.

      This common cause must be centered on the workplace. It is at work that we labor to provide for all our needs.
      Finding ways to strengthen fair and just workplaces must rank high on the list of important activities to support. It really is about educating and demonstrating that socialism is a worthwhile goal to achieve. Selfishness and greed will be the end of us all.

      1. 3.14e-9

        This is it. You can send people links to facts — and I mean primary sources, not a blog or an opinion piece masquerading as real journalism — and yet they still cling to the narrative. The human mind has an extraordinary ability to contort facts to fit into a belief system or to justify ignoring them altogether.

      2. Vatch

        It can take a long time to induce people to change their opinions — sometimes years. I try to avoid being outwardly angry when discussing these things with people. Many years ago, when I first expressed my opinions about the dangers of human overpopulation to people, I was shocked at the angry responses I would often get. “Who are you going to kill first?”, “Why don’t you just kill yourself and reduce the population by one?”, “You must be a racist, since people of color tend to have larger families”, etc., were among the responses.

        This conditioned me to detect anger as a clear sign that a person’s opinion is wrong, because he or she would otherwise use facts and logic if they were available. Of course, it is possible for a person to be both angry and correct, but that’s not how I was conditioned by these experiences. Since other people may respond to anger in the same way as I do, I try to limit my anger when I’m trying to persuade someone. Sometimes I fail to keep myself under control, but I try….

        1. Norb

          After relaying the latest scandal of the day, one of my coworkers finally said in exasperation, why do you keep bringing this stuff up? I felt it was a sign of progress because the conversation had moved from anger to sincere questioning. The conversation then turned from a venting session to one of discussing possible action to make things better. I view this whole process as an act of citizenship. To actively confront fellow citizens and demand they put aside their various distractions and take note of the larger events surrounding them. It is a process of education and awareness that works both ways between individuals having a conversation. In a sense, it is pushing through the anger and fear which enables a conversation in the first place.

          My overall theme is to advocate for the common good. Anger, violence, and greed are the easy road to travel. It takes one match to burn a house down- it takes many to build.

          As a society, as a civilization, we must come to terms with the relationship of the individual to the larger whole.

    3. Uahsenaa

      Compromises: A Political Dialogue

      Me: So, who are you liking this go around?
      Feminist: Clinton, I think.
      Me: Why? She’s a neoliberal shill, and you hate all that crap!
      Fem: It’s important to me that a woman be elected to a visible position of authority.
      Me: Well, you could vote for Jill Stein. She’s a woman and she agrees with your politics.
      Fem: A Green party candidate is never going to get elected.
      Me: So, you’re willing to compromise politics for practical concerns.
      Fem: Somewhat, but not entirely.
      Me: So Clinton is the one, because being a woman is more important that having sound political positions?
      Fem: I didn’t say that.
      Me: But Sanders is much close to Stein politically than Clinton is.
      Fem: Yes.
      Me: So, if the candidate who is not a woman but has more in common with a real progressive who is a woman does not win out over the candidate who is a woman but also a neoliberal shill, would it not stand to reason then, that, for you, gender is more important than issues of economic justice.
      Fem: I didn’t say that.
      Me: You didn’t have to.

      1. Scylla

        I am sorry that you had such a frustrating experience, but trust me when I say that plenty of feminists want nothing to do with Hillary. Berniebros are a trope, and so is the idea that all feminists support Clinton.

        1. Uahsenaa

          Feminist and Me are not mutually exclusive categories. My spouse too would never vote for Hillary in a million years. I just wanted a coy way to show how logically incoherent the “vote for woman” argument is, when an entire range of female candidates for president present themselves.

    4. Nobody (the outcast)

      “If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re gonna get selfish, ignorant leaders.” — George Carlin

      1. Gio Bruno

        …look. I’m a fan of Carlin’s too. While the quote you highlight is typical Carlin, I don’t think it resonates with the NC commentariat. Whom, from my reading, are neither selfish or ignorant. Quite the opposite.

        1. Nobody (the outcast)

          That wasn’t intended to be a description of NC, or its commentariat. You do know that we visitors and commenters make up a tiny slice of the electorate? (If only it was a huge slice!)

          I have tremendous respect for Yves, Lambert and the vast majority of the commentariat. But I do think that Carlin was correct in implying that the leadership is a reflection of the populace, at least in modern day U.S.

          Why do we continually elect sociopaths? Because they are the only choices? Or is it what our society wants and produces for “leadership” positions? I don’t know, but what I do know is that modern day U.S. is a sick society and a teetering empire. The sooner it ends the better, IMO.

  4. James Levy

    I don’t know how Clinton became inextricable linked in the minds of so many aspiring non-reactionary women with everything right and good, but it seems to be a judgment-neutralizing given that it has. And it is very personal and tied directly to Rodham Clinton. These people ridiculed Palin and wouldn’t vote for Carly Fiorina if their lives depended on it, so it’s not really women, per se, that they are boosting–it is this particular woman. I am sure that Walsh, Pollitt, et al. have no problem excoriating the millionaire wannabes who flock to Trump. Well, in an act of gender equality I posit this: that they are a generation of Hilary wannabes and their identification with Hilary is no different than millions of people’s identification with Trump.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the reactionary problem is endemic to both parties. Clinton supporters are just following their legitimate leader the way Republicans do. Virtue of being born into a Democratic linked household or being excluded by the GOP is the genuine separation.

    2. diptherio

      Good point about Palin and other Repub women. I think you’re probably right about the Hillary wannabes too.

    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      Hillary Rodham Clinton is their ‘Big Chill’ darling. She’s emblematic of their own transitions from left wing-ish college students to young professionals……. to rather sadly compromised professional class middle management, with teenagers who dislike them and mortgages.

      Most of the rank and file who still fervently support her never made it as far up the ladder as a Joan Walsh, but they identify with Walsh, because weren’t they all together and equals once, not so long ago? Except it was long ago. The passage of 30-35 years matters, and the utter divergence of their stature and economic safety matters even more.

      They want a vicarious ‘win’ for themselves via Hillary. Because they’re fools.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I fall into this trap of focusing on gender breakdowns, but Democratic voters are women. When it comes to telling stories of Democratic voters, women will dominate. The key breakdown is 1996. This isn’t about Hillary as much as its about Bill. Clinton Inc. has been protected and defended for years. Please try of women who have themselves been “slut shamed” applauded when Democratic elites attacked a 19 year old intern as a serial predator.

        Dolts like Lena Dunham, her show is just awful, have the resources to not have to think about tomorrow and can fret about their bucket list. Plenty of older women have semblance of plans or think they do and just want to get to social equity and Medicare. Change is less important to their planning as much as go holding steady.

        The breakdown of Hillary support is between the ages of 35 and 40. An 18 year old in 1996 will be 38 this year. Bill didn’t deserve votes in 1992 or 1996. Bill and his cronies were just awful and have cashed in on their corruption since he left office. Hillary is a chance to prove Bill was not awful. Hillary can prove Nader and Nader voters were deserving of contempt, not Gore and his crummy campaign. People, especially who weren’t old enough to vote in 1996 didn’t vote for Clinton Inc.

        1. Carolinian

          Hillary is a chance to prove Bill was not awful.

          There is the rumor that Bill is the one pushing a somewhat reluctant Hillary to run. Perhaps he hopes the honor of he Clinton name can be restored. Doubtless America is looking forward to once again being plunged into this psychodrama.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I wouldn’t be surprised. Supposedly he was depressed after leaving office with no direction. The real Dule Hill*, as corrupt as anyone around, was the driver of the Clinton Wedding Registry…I mean Global Initiative. I also remember Dick Morris recounting a story about Bill inquiring if he would ever be a great President. Morris said the great ones had wars. Of course, he Ignored FDR from 1933 to 1941. When Bill is portrayed in popular media, it’s usually as a lecherous creep or a poll driven coward. The sleazy nature of the Clinton Slush Fund will never be redeemed. The Democrats roared into Congress without Bill or his cronies at the helm in 2006 and 2008. If Gore Vidal were alive, can you imagine email how a hypothetical Clinton biography would read? Bill was elected to earn money, but judging from youth reaction to Hillary campaigns, history won’t be kind to Bill. When Dean was elected to the DNC and Obama was elected, Clinton Inc. was clearly rejected. Democrats regaining control of Congress without Bill was another rejection. Bill is smart enough to see this, but he Isn’t big enough to recognize his failures and move on constructively.

            *Bill’s body man not Gus.

  5. DakotabornKansan

    The lame gender justification for voting for Hillary Clinton reminds me of what my late mother used to call yellow dog Republicans in South Dakota. They would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Democrat.

    Once again many are ignoring ethical red flags and willing to make a pact with the yellow dog.

    Bob Herbert once described the Clintons as a terminally unethical and vulgar couple, who betrayed everyone whoever believed in them.

    “If anyone doubts that the mainstream media fails to tell the truth about our political system (and its true winners and losers), the spectacle of large majorities of black folks supporting Hillary Clinton in the primary races ought to be proof enough. I can’t believe Hillary would be coasting into the primaries with her current margin of black support if most people knew how much damage the Clintons have done – the millions of families that were destroyed the last time they were in the White House thanks to their boastful embrace of the mass incarceration machine and their total capitulation to the right-wing narrative on race, crime, welfare and taxes. There’s so much more to say on this topic and it’s a shame that more people aren’t saying it. I think it’s time we have that conversation.” – Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    The Democratic Party can’t get rid of the Clintons because they have become the Clintons.

  6. craazyboy

    I think the real solution is to just break off a piece of the country and make a new one. Sounds like no one is using Michigan anymore. That might be a good choice. Then all the tribal, identity politics, dominatrix and sissyboy types can move there and let women run the new country. It would serve Bill right too. Karma is sleeping on the couch in the Michigan governor’s mansion.

    1. Msmolly

      “Karma is sleeping on the couch in the Michigan governor’s mansion.” …and drinking Flint’s water…

    2. Active Listener

      Okay, I agree identity politics can be short-sighted, and would be harmful in this situation, but I don’t think off-the-cuff advocacy for the banishment of people who embrace non-traditional gender roles is a progressive-minded solution. Seems to me that trumpeting the horror of non-traditional gender roles has been one of the conservatives’ best weapons/Trojan Horses to rally support for neocon candidates who grovel at the feet of oligarchs pushing plutonomy-friendly policies.

      Language is important. Pushing people away who have struggled with the burden of non-normative identities helps no one but those who wish to divide, conquer, exploit, and finally abandon.

  7. Tom Allen

    “A non-neoliberal woman president is not one of the choices.” Wait, what? Has Jill Stein suddenly pulled out of the race? (And Gloria La Riva and Monica Moorehead as well?)

    1. PhilK

      I imagine GP is aware of Jill Stein, but he’d be banned from DailyKos if he wrote anything that was favorable to her. Not snark!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Jill Stein has 0 chance of becoming president. Gaius’ post is accurate as it stands.

      And I know you Greens will take umbrage, but I would never recommend her. Her background is sorely lacking. She has no administrative experience. She never run an organization nor has she ever held an elective office. She’s never written a bill or worked on getting one passed. I’m not wild about Sanders’ experience, since all he’s done is run a town of 40,000 people, but he’s leagues ahead of Stein. You need to find more credible candidates if you want people to take the Greens seriously.

      1. SoCal rhino

        I voted for Jill Stein as a protest vote. Saw nothing odious in her positions, and saw value in being counted as “none of the above” as opposed to not voting. I likely wasn’t the only such vote among the dozen or so she collected. Although skeptical at first, I hope Bernie is still in the mix by the time the primaries get this far. But I,m a crazy optimist, I hold out hope for one day voting for another Republican.

        1. cwaltz

          If Clinton is the nominee I’ll be voting Stein again.

          I’m not sure no elective office experience is a con from where I’m sitting. Many of our glorious elected officials are corporate owned putzes. Quite frankly, I’m not certain we wouldn’t get better representation if we randomly selected citizens to do the job instead of electing people who spend all their time collecting funds from donors to re run for office instead of actually reading the bills they are voting on.

      2. Vatch

        Regarding Sanders’s executive experience: we’ve had a lot of Presidents with no administrative experience. Quite a few have spent their careers in legislatures, without ever having been a governor, cabinet officer, mayor, or whatever. Granted, some of them were not good Presidents, but whether they were good or bad, they had a lot less executive experience than Sanders has had.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Reagan, Nixon, Bill, 43, and Carter aren’t exactly ringing endorsements for prior executive experience.

          1. Gio Bruno

            Being Governor doesn’t mean one is a good executive, or even smart! Think Arnold of California. You may not believe this, but Arnold had such a limited understanding of the English language that he, himself, could not explain his administrations budget document. (He could not read it!)

            Sometimes politics and intelligence don’t intersect.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Reagan was an extremely successful president….at advancing an agenda that people here (moi included) don’t like. Carter failed because he was an outsider to DC and did nada to try to overcome that. NIxon was successful on a number of fronts, and was undone by his paranoia. One could also argue that Shrub was successful in advancing an agenda that people on the left detest.

            So I’d say Carter is your cleanest case on the list.

      3. TheCatSaid

        I understand your point. And–extensive, successful, practical legislative experience is relevant for executive positions such as POTUS. Sanders’ many years in Congress (since 1990) and Senate (last 7 yrs), where he used his Independent status to good effect in getting bills passed, deserve a mention. A Rolling Stones article a few years ago highlighted this strength.

      4. Oregoncharles

        “Jill Stein has 0 chance of becoming president.” Just as a matter of logic, I hope you realize that that’s a classic self-fulfilling prophecy – not so much coming from just one person, but because so many think it.

        Unfortunately, I have to acknowledge your second paragraph. If we had someone available with governmental experience, we’d nominate them. That’s why we nominated Cynthia McKinney in 2008. But despite her experience, she ran a much less effective campaign than Jill did in 2012. Partly, of course, she got run over by the Obama bandwagon. And she isn’t offering this year – she really wants to get back into Congress.

        All that said, there’s a greater than usual chance we’ll wind up with a train wreck election. Perhaps the likeliest result would be a Bernie or Trump presidency; but the party system is teetering on the edge, if only because it’s so unpopular.

    3. Steve H

      I have a falsifiable problem with her. No surprise she goes after Republicans. But from what I have seen, she has spent more time working against Sanders than speaking truth to power about Clinton. The times she could specifically address Clinton, from what I have seen, she substitutes ‘Democratic Party’ in the statement.

      This says to me she is more concerned about market share and Sanders is her primary competition. Paying attention to what can hurt you or take away resources from you, while not spending your own resources on what has little impact, is part of a selection process. My interpretation is that she is more concerned with pulling votes from the Democratic Party than advancing her stated agenda.

      I very much welcome the opportunity to be proved wrong here.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Not a disprovable proposition, but mainly, Sanders is who she’s being asked about. And as you say, he’s the competition – just as, in the general, Greens are essentially running against the Democrats. The Republicans are an afterthought – and pretty much go without saying.

        I just heard her speak; her focus is almost entirely on making policy points. Anyone who wants to hear her speak has already dismissed Clinton. She mentioned Sanders once, to make the contrast. That’s essential, because someone asked me about him before the talk.

        At this point, she isn’t running against either one of them; she’s seeking the nomination. She can go after the Democrat once she knows who that is.

        1. Vatch

          If the Democratic candidate is Clinton, then Stein should attack her with no holds barred. But if the Democratic candidate is Sanders, she ought to endorse him. She can still support the Green candidates for all other political offices.

    4. Gaius Publius

      I understand the Green Party (etc.) protest vote motivation. When there’s no one really to pick from (depending on your point of view), it’s an option I understand.

      But this time, for the first time in a generation, there’s actually someone to pick who could win and who will bust up the insider game for real, or give it a hell of a shot. Here’s one: I’m reading now that NAFTA can be abrogated by the executive branch alone, based on one of its clauses. I’m still chasing this down.

      Let’s assume that’s true. How about putting the one person into office who might actually execute that option? Sanders certainly hates these job-killing trade deals enough to do it. And he understands why they need to be killed.

      This year, 2016, and this primary, is our one real shot. It’s like 2008 without the fake self-presentation. I say it’s important we put our shoulders behind that one wheel and push.

      My thoughts, anyway.


      1. Cujo359

        Agreed. Sanders isn’t perfect, but he’s right on the economic issues. Like most modern politicians, he’s bought into the crazy notion that a balanced federal budget is a good thing, but beyond that, he’s as good as it’s been in a long time.

        I supported Jill Stein and the Greens in 2012, and probably will again in the general if it turns out Clinton is the nominee of the Democrats. But Sanders is the best chance of righting the ship, as I see it, and he’s worth supporting on that basis. Even with a hostile Congress, there’s still a lot a modern-day President can do, and I think Sanders will do everything in his power to make things better.

        1. Gaius Publius

          Re this:

          Sanders isn’t perfect, but he’s right on the economic issues. Like most modern politicians, he’s bought into the crazy notion that a balanced federal budget is a good thing

          Keep in mind that when Sanders became Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, he hired Stephanie Kelton as the committee’s economist. I’m sure they’ve had a lot of time to have the MMT conversation.

          There’s definitely a ways to go to kill the underlying lie that keeps “austerity” viable as a policy, but there is that voice in his ear if he wants to listen to it. And again, he chose her.


          1. Uahsenaa

            In the spirit of keeping things real, I’m going to be that guy, and remind everyone who’s starting to get starry eyed over Sanders that Lyndon Johnson was also very good on social and economic justice–and he happened to preside over the escalation of one of the most politically divisive wars in American history. FDR did too, as it turns out, though we retroactively justify WWII as moral nowadays because of the Holocaust, even though that had nothing to do with why we went to war in the first place.

            Johnson and Sanders have a lot in common, extensive legislative experience, for one. It was Johnson who actually got Kennedy’s dead in the water civil rights act passed, due in no small part to his intimate knowledge of how the Congress operates. And, of course, the Great Society, which Repubs (and their Dem allies) have been chipping away at for years now.

            Oh, and both never unequivocally repudiated the disastrous effects that American foreign policy at the muzzle of a gun or sight of drone has unleashed upon the world.

            And when it comes to leftist politics, Johnson actually tried to muzzle the more overtly socialist aspects of King’s message, for fear that it might cause embarrassment with regard to the Soviets.

            Now, this is not to say that Sanders 100% = Johnson, but simply to remind us that playing up social and economic justice while waving a hand over the bellicosity of every single Democrat and Republican candidate could very well bite everyone in the butt some day. If Sanders is elected, people better not fail to hold his feet over the fire like many did with Obama.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              LBJ also had Jack’s foreign policy loons everywhere and likely a pathological condition about skipping out on World War II. It’s not like Johnson decided on his own to invade Vietnam. Jack had a division there on his own.

              When clowns like Hillary, Biden, and Kerry were voting for war in Iraq, Sanders opposed them.

              1. Uahsenaa

                I’m glad you made that point, because it too is something to bear in mind. The Team Blue apparatchiks are not just going to disappear into the night with a Sanders presidency–they may very well wreck things within their particular executive fiefdoms. Corbyn’s shadow cabinet woes have shown quite forcefully how New Labour/New Dem types can muck things up even after they’ve been trounced.

                If Sanders means what he says, that the real fight begins after the inauguration, then I won’t regret standing under a Bernie sign tomorrow night.

            2. Gio Bruno

              I think you have too brief a summary on LBJ.

              The US had been involved in Vietnam since the French were defeated at Diem Bien Phu, in 1954. It became part of our “Cold War” strategy. Our “advisers” on the ground were assassinating folks there long before LBJ decided to escalate the war after “learning” of the “attacks” on the US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin. (All lies!) His trust in General McFarland was LBJ’s downfall.

              As for the Voting Rights Act, LBJ gets a big hug. But the Civil Rights movement had been going on for years before he signed the Act in 1965. I lived through the era and the confrontations in the South were absolutely tragic. There was enormous political pressure to resolve the issue. (Unfortunately, it has not been resolved: abject racism has been replaced by institutional racism.)

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Did you forget that Johnson was a Southerner? He knew full well he was giving away the South to Republicans for at least a generation. He was bucking his own allies in supporting civil rights.

            3. Vatch

              At least one of Johnson’s legislative wins, his 1948 Senate primary runoff election, was almost certainly dependent on rigged ballots. I doubt that anything remotely similar to that is true for Sanders.

            4. 3.14e-9

              Sanders has said he isn’t a pacifist, but that doesn’t make him an imperialist warmonger, as those on the anti-war left have been painting him ever since he ran for Congress in 1990.

              This is a good example of what I wrote above about narratives. This one has been repeated over and over, and writers such as Chris Hedges, Joshua Frank, and David Swanson are cited as sources (often by each other). So, for example, when Sanders said the Saudis needed to send ground troops to fight ISIS, the keepers of that narrative started frenzied arm-waving about Imperialist Bernie and Bernie’s “screwy Middle East policy,” without bothering to research the origin and context (Sam Husseini seized on that one comment as the basis for an entire article about Sanders’s imperialist plan to take over all the Middle East oil fields, while Swanson wrote, “Sanders insists Saudi Arabia should kill more people”).

              Put in context, Sanders was responding to requests by the Saudis for U.S. ground troops to “fight ISIS.” He saw through it, saying that what they really wanted was U.S. troops to protect the billionaire Saudi royal family. Essentially he was telling them to FO and use their own damn troops — and, by the way, Saudi Arabia has one of largest military budgets in the world, so they had some nerve to expect U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill. They won’t use their own troops, of course, because that would create more backlash against the monarchy (they ended up convincing Pakistan to do it, evidently through an offer to pay handsomely). Contrary to the narrative, Sanders NEVER has suggested that the Saudis be given free rein to invade neighboring countries or that they should lead the fight against the Islamic State. He argues for a coalition of Muslim nations along the lines of that suggested by Jordan’s King Abdullah.

              While it’s true that Sanders doesn’t yet have a fully formed foreign policy, he does have a lot more experience than he’s given credit for, and if you take his record in its entirety, the picture that emerges is not of a neoliberal interventionist.

      2. Oregoncharles

        And your back-up plan? Or did you already cover that?

        To be clear: I still don’t believe the Democratic Party apparatus will allow Sanders to be nominated. The nomination is more important to them than the general – and at maybe 29% of the electorate, the party is now down to the conservative residue.

      3. lindaj

        “… this primary, is our one real shot.”

        I bet you heard the above many times in 2008. So Obama did his bit to “save” the Democratic party, then went on to do what the Democratic party always does now: save Wall Street, throw away a chance to get single payer, and move to invigorate the Mil Indus Complex, to the point where Obama found out he was “‘really good at killing people” with drones.

        I won’t vote for Bernie because he is running as a Democrat and no matter his personal integrity, he will not be able to overcome the machinations of the Party. Did he ever really do it in the Senate?

    5. Vatch

      If Sanders succeeds in winning the Democratic nomination in July, in August, the proper thing for the Greens to do would be to endorse Sanders for President. They would still be able to run all of their candidates for other offices.

  8. JeffC

    Things are far, far worse than that seriously inadequate campaign-funding bar graph suggests. Hillary has been paid more from Wall Street than is shown there just in speaking fees in the last couple of years.

    The graph actually purports to show only donations of individuals, not firms. How much did Wall Street firms donate to Hillary-backing SuperPACs? How much did they contribute to the Clinton’s foundation? How much did they pay either Clinton for speeches?

    Aside: When is someone at a forum going to ask her what keen insights into its business strategies a big bank expected to get from a canned speech that would justify a five-figure price?

    I suspect the true dollar totals of donations to the Clintons’ world that could reasonably be assumed to create loyalty and a sense of indebtedness would leave the $2m or so on the bar graph looking like statistical noise.

  9. Carolinian

    I’m not sure it’s illegitimate for some people–if that’s what’s important to them–to vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. After all lots of people voted for Obama because he was African American. But at least with Obama his lack of track record meant optimism over his claimed goals was possible. Whereas with Hillary we know exactly what we will be getting and it’s not good. Her problem is the very experience she is constantly touting, the “hard choices,” tells us what to expect. So unless one is on board with her hawkishness and Wall St cronyism then feminist supporters like Walsh are pushing their own agenda at the expense of everyone else. And if they are on board with those things then, really, why are we reading them anyway?

    1. James Levy

      My issue is that these people are not voting for her because she’s a woman, because there are loads of women they would not vote for–they are voting for her because she is Hilary Rodham Clinton. They are saying, in effective, “policies count, but not in this case”, or at least the supposedly Progressive/Left women are saying that. Those who are on board with neoliberalism and the American Imperial Project can vote for Hilary on points–I have no problem with that so long as they are honest about it.

  10. TG

    Well said! Kudos.

    It is human nature to vote for someone like yourself: Blacks for Obama, Women for Hillary Clinton, Irish for Hugh O’Brien, etc. But this “Identity politics” can be a trap, and provides cover for corrupt representatives that will not defend your interests. In particular, when a politician emphasizes their identity instead of their policies, alarm bells should go off. And we should vote our interests.

    It also seems that to some extent Hillary is benefiting from the fact that she is such a toxic monster that it’s hard to even process, it seems unreal and hard to believe in. I mean, here is a person who has pushed to waste trillions of dollars devastating middle eastern countries that don’t threaten us, has de-facto allied the United States with Al Qaeda (!), has pushed to spend trillions of dollars bailing out Wall Street while starving main street of capital, intends to gut social security to help pay for all this largesse to the 1% (because deficits are bad, you know), wants us to sign a trade agreement that is effectively a corporate coup, making our domestic laws subservient to a bunch of foreign corporate lawyers meeting in secret, used her tenure as secretary of state to sell out the national interest for personal cash while she was still in office… And people say that Trump is dangerous? Or that Bernie is unelectable? Really?

  11. Lambert Strether

    I don’t see why this is a difficult issue at all. In alpha order (last name):

    [ ] Hillary Clinton
    [ ] Carly Fiorina
    [ ] Nikki Haley (were she to be mooted for VP)
    [ ] Sarah Palin

    [x] Jill Stein (as a protest, perhaps)
    [x]Zephyr Teachout (2020?)
    [x]Elizabeth Warren (In the event…)

    I just don’t want to vote for a corrupt and/or neoliberal stooge. Is that so bad?


    There IS a woman, Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, who is truly progressive in both her domestic and foreign policies. Of course, in our rigged election system, such third party candidates have no chance at even being covered by the corporate media, let alone being elected.

    If Hillary Clinton, neoliberal and neoconservative warmonger, is elected the first woman president, it will be appropriate for this nation, given its system of predatory global capitalism enforced by military brutality and violence. Appropriate, but not at all beneficial, for most of us and the planet.

  13. tongorad

    Identity politics appears to trump policy for a great many people…still. I know people who are crowing and cooing about a possible Hillary/Julian Castro ticket. As if the Obama debacle never happened.

  14. Carla

    The only bright spot to a Hillary Clinton nomination is that it would probably enable the Green Party to retain ballot access in Ohio (and I’m guessing in other states as well). Greens and even those who lean Green (a much larger group) are unlikely to vote for Hillary, and the GP must win 3 percent of the vote statewide to keep access to the ballot.

    Since our crisis really is systemic, I don’t think we will ever make progress toward solving our problems within the duopoly that’s in place now.

    1. roadrider

      Yeah, I agree with that. I support (and contribute to) Jill Stein’s campaign but I’m going to be seriously conflicted if Sanders is the DP nominee. I’m also supporting Margaret Flowers for Senate in my state (MD) so even if I vote for Sanders I’ll still be able to support an GP candidate for a high office.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t think the Democrats grasp the scale of this sentiment. Hillary was supposed to bring in “stupid,” young women who are breaking for Sanders despite the nastiness out of the Clinton campaign. Obama sure among black enthusiasm in 2012 in response to GOP efforts to disenfranchise minority voters. It’s likely they would have not rallied around the President. Considering blacks have never voted in record strength for Clinton or Gore (1996 and 2000 were periods low African American turnout), it’s unlikely Hillary will change the course. Say goodbye to PA, Virginia, and Ohio.

        Given the despicable treatment of Hispanic immigrants by the Obama Administration, the Hispanic community at large won’t be eager for Obama’s third term. There goes New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado.

        Then if course, there are the down ticket races where Team Blue candidates don’t have the adherents Hillary has.

  15. MaroonBulldog

    A vote for Hillary is a vote to send the message that Hillary projects, to wit: a big, loud, and shrill “up yours” to people who play by rules and demand that public officials do the same.

    Next time you hear Bill or Hillary praising people to who play by the rules, remember, these two are vile, inveterate cheats who never play by any rules themselves.

  16. allan

    First they came for the nurses’ union, and I said nothing …

    Clinton’s campaign and its supporters have pointed to the nurses’ spending in support of Sanders to suggest his attacks on Clinton as the candidate of big money are disingenuous and hypocritical.

    But, according to the super PAC’s FEC filing, almost all of the PAC’s cash flow came in the second half of last year ― and every dime of it came from the union itself. The union did not respond immediately to an email seeking information about its super PAC finances, but the money likely came from dues that members paid to be a part of the union [the horror, the horror …], which come in much smaller increments than the seven-figure checks that fill the coffers of the super PACs that Sanders derides on the campaign trail as eroding American democracy.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      PAC contributions don’t (can’t) come out of regular dues. (Unions can make political contributions out of the general fund without setting up a PAC.) Those who wish pay additionally to support a union’s PAC. So the NNU PAC is really just a bundling of individual members’ voluntary contributions. Not “big money” in the least.

  17. sgt_doom

    Hillary and the Bimbo Vote

    There are many reasons I will never vote for neocon, Hillary Clinton: her support for Obama’s war on whistleblowers (Cate Jenkins, John Kiriakou, Jeffrey Sterling, Barrett Brown, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Carmen Segarra, et al.), her support for private prisons — dating from her support for Bill’s Omnibus Crime Bill, her involvement in the overthrow of President Zelaya of Honduras — and when those Honduran kids would predictably stream across the border several years later, they would be held at prison camps run by the Geo Group, a major donor to Hillary, her support for the offshoring of American jobs and replacing American workers with foreign visa workers (Tata Consultancy of India was a major donor to her when she was a senator), her help in creating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, etc. — but when I have explained this to women over the age of 45 their eyes glaze over — but when I mention that during the Clinton Administration it was forbidden for their people to publicly utter the phrase, “corporate welfare” — they begin to pay attention!

    Reminds me of a brief discussion I had a few years back with a woman in her 70s who nonsensically believed that Bernie Madoff’s wife was a victim?

    Even though I explained that if plenty of us realized he was running a scam, there was no way his two sons and wife couldn’t know as well, but since they were profiting nicely from it, they kept quiet — she refused to believe me.

    Several weeks later Mrs. Madoff was caught illegaly attempting to offshore their court-frozen assets, and then she too was put on house arrest, with Bernie, and restricted from telephone and computer usage.

    A typical bimbo . . . .

    But I most certainly do believe a woman should be president in 2016.

  18. two beers

    I get blank stares when I tell people that in 2008, I didn’t vote for Obama but that I did vote for an actual progressive. That candidate happened to be a black female who had been banished from the Democrat* Party by Rahmbo for her stance on Palestine.

    I’m not especially intelligent, but I don’t buy into identity politics, so even I could tell very early on in the ’08 Democrat primaries that Obama was a stooge and a phony. Democrat voters demean Republican voters for the latter’s ignorance, racism, and nativism. I demean Democrats because they are so easily manipulated by identity politics.

    Wall St bankers were worried about angry populism coming for their hides in 2008. Knowing that identity politics “trumps” issue politics for most Democrat voters, they inserted Obama into the mix, and the Democrats lapped it up like the identity-card simpletons that they are. This shifted the focus of the ’08 Democrat primaries from Wall St and Iraq to a tacit identity battle based on race and gender.

    I also think Clinton is the Candidate Most Likely to Start WW3, and that includes all of the Republicans. Her recent ad has a shot of Scary Putin while telling us she’ll “keep us safe”; she is more vehemently anti-Russian than anyone in the GOP. I honestly think there is a high probability that she will confront Russia militarily if she is elected. It’ll never happen, but I’d like to see Sanders’ campaign remake LBJ’s famous 1964 ad, this time targeting the Goldwater Girl.

    Anyone who votes for Clinton because she is a woman deserves all the contempt we reserve for ignorant, racist, and nativist Republican voters.

    *I’ll restore the “ic” if/when the Democrat Party restores itself.

      1. Oregoncharles

        In 2012, she managed to get on 85% of ballots, including all the large states. So for most Americans, she was indeed a “choice.”
        It says nothing about winning. But to repeat what I said above, there are two issues with your framing:

        First, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Second, there are plausible scenarios this year where she gets a lot more than 1%. The most obvious is that the Democrats visibly play dirty to keep Bernie out of the nomination. That will leave millions of Bernie supporters with some difficult choices – and only one obvious back-up plan, as is obvious from the comments on this site. But there are more; one is that TRUMP gets cheated out of the nomination and carries out his threat of an independent run. That throws things open, because it negates the spoiler effect.

        OTOH, if Bernie’s nominated we’re on hold for another term. And TBF, as a friend keeps reminding me, I have a long record of saying this kind of thing; so far, the PTB have kept their hold. But legacy party membership has never been so low, nor have we seen TWO insurgent campaigns, both with a shot at the nomination, at the same time.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        Obviously. That makes her putative lack of executive or administrative qualifications nearly a distracting irrelevancy. She got my vote in 2012, and if Sanders doesn’t win the nomination she’ll probably get it again (if Trump is nominated and running against Clinton I’ll have to strongly consider a strategic vote for him). My first preference is to vote for the candidate who’s policies most closely align with my personal political perspective and screw whether they might win or not. I still feel really good about voting for Stein in the last cycle, and I’m sure I would again. I’d consider helping the GP get to the 5% threshhold for ballot access reason enough to support her.

  19. Oregoncharles

    ” that she becomes the destroyer who threw away the final chance to save civilized life?”: Kali Durga

  20. rbrooks

    It’s hard to imagine, e.g., Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, Aung San Suu Kyi, or any powerful leaders who happened to be women, campaigning with the cynicism and lack of dignity Hillary Clinton routinely displays. Women who buy her pitch have apparently abandoned their judgment at Clinton’s skillful con. My problem is not with the single-issue women voters, focused on very real women’s issues, who are unwilling or unable to consider her record of incompetence and corruption; her ties to Wall Street and the war industry; her ties to the corporate criminal enterprise; and the neocons she surrounds herself with who have controlled our foreign policy with such disastrous results. If a woman is vulnerable to vote-for-me-because-I’m-a-woman whine, I can understand it. I don’t respect it, but I understand it.
    My problem is with Clinton’s shameless playing of women who are vulnerable to the gender con – which is an embarrassment to every woman who ever lived.

  21. 3.14e-9

    Best read of the day. Compliments to Yves and Gaius Publius.

    I would like to add that HRC’s fracking history is even more extensive than reported in your links. While at State, she initiated a program to promote fracking by U.S. companies abroad. Eastern Europe was a major target, especially Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. I’m not sure about Ukraine, but it has large oil shale deposits, and USAID, which works closely with the State Dept., released a study in May 2012 that essentially was a strategic plan for U.S. companies to do fracking in Ukraine, complete with how to get around legal hurdles and objections by environmentalists.

    In the trove of e-mails from her server, there’s an e-mail dated April 26, 2010, with the subject line “Call list,” which contains a cryptic note, “Clark (ask Amb. Morningstar to call him to discuss oil shale in Europe).” Richard Morningstar was an adviser to Bill Clinton, and during HRC’s term at State was special envoy for Eurasian energy. After that, he was ambassador to Azerbaijan, and in November 2014 he became founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. “Clark” most likely refers to retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who following an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004 formed a consulting business with a specialty in energy. In April 2010, he was an investment banker and consultant in oil, gas, and alternative energy in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

    Less than four months after that e-mail, the State Department announced its new Global Shale Gas Initiative. Mother Jones did an expose in September 2014. There’s also an in-depth report, a joint project of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, that traces how HRC’s State Department worked with Chevron to overturn the ban on fracking in Romania. Clark did his part as a consultant to Romanian PM Victor Ponta. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    For some reason, I’ve fallen afoul of moderation, so rather than linking, I’ll give you the titles, which will come up instantly in a Google search:

    How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World [Mother Jones]

    Fracking Romania/English

    There is NO QUESTION that HRC supports fracking. None! Her justification is that burning “clean” natural gas can help fight climate change, and I suppose she would say there’s no scientific evidence that fracking poisons the water supply. Meanwhile, she’s got her bases covered, so if the opposition gets too loud in the United States, her oil industry donors can exploit countries where the populace can be bought off or beaten into submission.

  22. 3.14e-9

    Best read of the day. Compliments to Yves and Gaius Publius.

    I would like to add that HRC’s fracking history is even more extensive than reported in your links. While at State, she initiated a program to promote fracking by U.S. companies abroad. Eastern Europe was a major target, especially Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. I’m not sure about Ukraine, but it has large oil shale deposits, and USAID, which works closely with the State Dept., released a study in May 2012 that essentially was a strategic plan for U.S. companies to do fracking in Ukraine, complete with how to get around legal hurdles and objections by environmentalists.

    In the trove of e-mails from her server, there’s an e-mail dated April 26, 2010, with the subject line “Call list,” which contains a cryptic note, “Clark (ask Amb. Morningstar to call him to discuss oil shale in Europe).” Richard Morningstar was an adviser to Bill Clinton, and during HRC’s term at State was special envoy for Eurasian energy. After that, he was ambassador to Azerbaijan, and in November 2014 he became founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. “Clark” most likely refers to retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who following an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004 formed a consulting business with a specialty in energy. In April 2010, he was an investment banker and consultant in oil, gas, and alternative energy in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

    Less than four months after that e-mail, the State Department announced its new Global Shale Gas Initiative. Mother Jones did an expose in September 2014. There’s also an in-depth report, a joint project of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, that traces how HRC’s State Department worked with Chevron to overturn the ban on fracking in Romania. Clark did his part as a consultant to Romanian PM Victor Ponta. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    My comments seem to get flagged when I insert links, so I’ll just give you the titles, which will come up instantly in a Google search:

    How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World [Mother Jones]

    Fracking Romania/English

    There is NO QUESTION that HRC supports fracking. None! Her justification is that burning “clean” natural gas can help fight climate change, and I suppose she would say there’s no scientific evidence that fracking poisons the water supply. Meanwhile, she’s got her bases covered, so if the opposition gets too loud in the United States, her oil industry donors can exploit countries where the populace can be bought off or beaten into submission.

    (Sincere apologies if this comment showed up twice.)

  23. Tom Denman

    ARRGH Matey, the “HAAAARD choices”!

    It seems that Ms. Walsh thinks that we should all look forward to the opportunity to sacrifice for the sake of the “Greater Good” that accrues to Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Clintons’ patrons.

    If Hillary gets in Americans had better brace themselves for a very long and rough cruise.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Yes, it’s a truly masterful ploy by the hive mind of the political class to so narrow the Overton Window that all the choices are bad, and then expect our praise and support for making “hard choices.”

      1. RMO

        “If Hillary gets in Americans had better brace themselves for a very long and rough cruise.”

        I’m pretty sure the entire world would be in for a very long and rough cruise if that came to pass. Even Trump might be preferable to those of us outside the U.S. as there’s a good chance his administration would be dysfunctional enough that it would slightly reduce the nation’s ability to wreak havoc on the rest of the world.

  24. Pat

    As big a bunch of crap that is voting for the woman is (and I say that as a woman), I’m even more offended by the bullshit that I encounter about how Clinton will be more effective than Bernie, and how important it is to vote for her because of her nominees.
    First off, where the hell have these people been the last few years. Sure Clinton can sit through a long and largely pointless Congressional grilling, but how does that make her effective? I’m really asking. Because anyone who thinks that Benghazi was anything but the beginning did not pay attention the last decade of the last century. How effective is someone who is going to told to go to hell by Congress AND is going to be subject to multiple ongoing investigations by the same? Does anyone think that she will get one nominee through the Senate, even if the position is dog catcher? I’m pretty damn sure even her cabinet would remain empty. And I’m also pretty damn sure if there is one piece of evidence that any member of her staff sent her emails with stripped headings they have it and if they don’t they will look for anything else that could land her in prison (and her associates as well). They have been laying the groundwork and are willing to do anything in their power to make sure that that first woman President does not complete a term.

    And yet I’m told that I should vote for that future gridlock, expensive ongoing hunt (witch and not witch), and a sincere knowledge that what little will happen is something guaranteed to be bad for America (TPP, bailouts, invasions and disastrous energy policy) which she will happily sign. All because she will not only be a woman but more effective than the other ‘first’ candidate – Jewish and/or socialist.

    The snow job regarding the importance of electing Hillary Clinton is ongoing and mind numbingly condescending to anyone who won’t lie about her long record of being a lying, ineffective, useless, triangulating hack. You want sparkle unicorns, are a misogynist, or have been taken in by the right wing unless you are all three. Not to mention you don’t get how much experience being the wife of a politician has given her (and they don’t mean the only real experience that supplies which is campaigning.)

  25. ks

    Ah, yes, Joan Walsh. Who could forget her Sept. 12, 2001 article about Rudy Guiliani.

    I try to check myself before going into full swoon over Giuliani. You can see how decades of crisis could lead to fascism; at a time like this I worry I’m entirely too ready to fall into the arms of a strong man. And in some ways he’s the same old Rudy, only lovable now, because his affinity for authoritarianism, his capacity to turn every challenge into Armageddon, was ridiculous when applied to graffiti artists and street vendors, but is exactly appropriate here.

    Time has shown that those who exhibited bad judgement in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 will always exhibit bad judgement in a crisis, mea culpas notwithstanding (although I don’t recall one coming from Walsh.)

  26. freedomny

    Please folks – volunteer if you can to get Sanders elected. As someone very intimately involved with mortgages…the things that were happening at JPM were eye opening. What I am really afraid of – there are a slew of super educated women/men out there that feel very strongly about Clinton. My sister is one of them. Who lives with her lesbian partner…(yeah – democrat but uniformed, milk toast democrat) We got into a huge fight over xmas where all her gay friends were trying to tell me that Hilary was a “policy wonk” who could get things through Congress, where Sanders couldn’t. Their strident loyalty to Hilary was shocking to me. Now I realize that they believe Hilary will keep their world as it is… with very little change – for them. But no real change for America.

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